Youth Behind Bars: Report Exposes High Cost of Kids in Michigan's Adult Criminal Justice System

The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD) has been working for over a year on a crucial report: Youth Behind Bars: Exploring the Impact of Prosecuting and Incarcerating Kids in Michigan's Criminal Justice System. The report states that from 2003 through 2013, more than 20,000 Michigan youth were placed on adult probation, detained in jail, or imprisoned for an offense committed when they were younger than 18 years old. Michigan is one of ten states that automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults, accounting for 95 percent of youth in the adult system. The majority of these charges were for non-violent offenses that did not include a weapon.

Take some time to read the report and find out what is happening to kids in our adult system. The report is posted below.. Click here to view all of the report materials prepared by MCCD.

News release issued: Federation expands scope through member interest networks

Key players in the Michigan Legislature and state departments of DHS and DCH each were sent a special news release this week, announcing the Federation’s launch of three new MINs to address the areas of Family Preservation, Behavioral Health, and Performance/Quality Management. The release speaks to the extensive expertise within member agencies that makes the Federation “the go-to resource for legislators and state and federal policy makers for advice and guidance as they are challenged with addressing the needs of children and families and regulating and monitoring the organizations that care for them.”

Welcome to Ruth Ellis Center and Executive Director Jerry Peterson!

The Federation Board of Directors has voted to approve the Full Member Application of Ruth Ellis Center, which is located in Highland Park and serves Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

The agency operates three programs: Ruth’s House, a residential housing program for youth ages 12-17 who are in the foster care or juvenile justice systems; Second Stories Drop-In Center, which provides basic services and safe space for youth and young adults ages 14 to 24; and Second Stories Outpatient Mental Health Services. To learn more about the agency, visit http://www.ruthelliscenter.org/.

Mental Health and Wellness Commission report released this week

In 2013, Governor Rick Snyder issued an Executive Order to assemble a Mental Health and Wellness Commission and charged it with making recommendations for improving the lives of individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders in our state. The charge of the Commission was “to address any gaps in the delivery of mental health services and propose new service models to strengthen the entire delivery spectrum of mental health services throughout the state of Michigan.” You will recall that Federation membership had the opportunity to participate in a needs assessment developed by the Federation last summer titled “Statewide Mental Health Services Assessment.” The results of the survey were shared with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and the Commission. The bipartisan, bicameral Mental Health and Wellness Commission released their final report of recommendations on Tuesday before a joint Health Policy Committee hearing, and quickly got a promise of fast legislative action on some of the 60 proposals. There is a large focus in the report on recommendations for children, which is a testament that the Federation membership needs were well heard by the Lieutenant Governor. The “Addressing the Needs of Children” section on pages 11-12 features direct recommendations of Federation membership. You will also find the “Residential Treatment” and “Juvenile Justice” recommendations relevant to the work of the membership.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV)

The ETV Program is well into the new fiscal year and fall semester is underway! With the Fall 2013 semester ending, have your college youth applied for ETV? They still have time!

Students may be eligible for ETV funds if they were in foster care, due to abuse or neglect on or after their 14th birthday, or were adopted from foster care on or after their 16th birthday, juvenile justice youth who were placed in an eligible foster care placement under DHS for care and supervision, have a high school diploma, and attends an accredited college or vocational program. Students must also receive their first ETV prior to their 21st birthday and may be eligible up to their 23rd birthday provided they received a 2.0 GPA and do not drop more than once class per semester.
Current award amounts are $2000 for full time students and $1000 for part time students.

An application is attached below. Please pass this valuable resource on to any qualified youth!!!

Michigan Federation Board of Directors

Michigan Federation for Children and Families Board of Directors • FY 2016-2017

BOARD PRESIDENT
Brian D. Philson    
Highfields, Inc.

BOARD VICE PRESIDENT
Debora Matthews    
The Children's Center

BOARD TREASURER 
Brian De Vos
Bethany Christian Services

BOARD SECRETARY
Rick Watkins    
New Light Child & Family Institute

Gary Anderson    
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Angela Aufdemberge    
Vista Maria

Sharon Berkobien    
Holy Cross Children's Services

Elizabeth Carey    
Starr Commonwealth

Sean de Four    
Samaritas

David Gehm    
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Lenora Hardy-Foster    
Judson Center

MichFed:

Invitation to join Michigan Home Based Family Services Association

MHBFSA logoFederation Affiliate Member Michigan Home Based Family Services Association invites you to join others who are committed to quality family-centered services throughout Michigan.

New and renewing MHBFSA members benefit from three free trainings annually, discounted pricing for the MHBFSA annual conference (September 27-28, 2012), training hours and free social work CEs at each training, an e-newsletter called Practice, access to the Home Based Standards Guidelines Handbook, listing on and access to the MHBFSA website and more!

Find details about membership and benefits at www.mihomebased.com and in the attachments found below.

Hand Across the Water brings Federation service provider members to 46!

Hands Across the WaterThe Michigan Federation for Children and Families' Board of Directors has unanimously approved Hands Across the Water’s full membership application. Based in Ann Arbor, HATW is COA and Hague accredited to provide adoption, foster care and education services. While the agency primarily serves Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Jackson and Livingston counties, it serves families from all of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as well as numerous other states and other countries for international services.

Welcome to Kathleen Nelson, founder and executive director of Hands Across the Water!

To learn more about HATW, visit www.hatw.org.

Housing program gives homeless youth a boost

medium_bilde_0.jpgDetroit News— It was just a few months ago that LaKeisha Johnson and her small children slept in a car when they couldn't count on a relative or a friend to provide them with a place to stay.

On Thursday, Johnson, 24, showed off her new two-bedroom apartment at Oakman Place Apartments, part of a program to house young, homeless adults, as well as those who have aged out of the state's foster care system.

"This is beautiful," said Johnson, as she showed off the expansive ground floor apartment, fully furnished with new furniture. "It doesn't seem real."

The 24-unit, three-story complex on Oakman Boulevard near Woodrow Wilson includes gated parking and a washer and dryer in each apartment.

The $5.1 million development is the result of a partnership that includes Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, Focus:HOPE and Michigan State Housing Development Authority MSHDA.

Robert G. Miles, president and CEO of Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, said the Oakman Place program provides adequate housing and other support services for homeless youth and those who "age out of the welfare system."

"Very few of our own children make the transition into adulthood without ongoing support and supportive services," Miles said. "Through this development, we have become more sensitized to the number of families who are challenged to find adequate, safe and affordable housing."

Miles said Thursday he hopes the residents will "love each other, support each other and become a community."

Selecting the first families to live in Oakman Place was a difficult task for social worker Carolyn Rayford, the deputy regional director for Lutheran Child & Family Service.

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